US 3478914 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Nov. 1s, 1969 A. T. WILUAMS 3,478,914
BIN STRUCTURE Filed July 29, 1968 -F-IGJ .y n Je INVENTOR.
United States Patent O 3,478,914 BIN STRUCTURE Archie T. Williams, 153 Paseo de los Delicias, Redondo, Calif. Filed July 29, 1968, Ser. No. 748,455 Int. Cl. B65d 7/14, 7/20, 7/42 U.S. Cl. 220--4 9 Claims ABSTRACT F THE DISCLOSURE A bin including a leg-supported rectangular frame in the corners of which wells are defined that removably receive end portions of end walls and side walls, with the end walls and side walls interlocking when mounted on the frame. At least a portion of the end walls and side walls include wire mesh panels which cooperate with a bottom supported from the frame to define a conned space in which articles may be stored and remain visible, even when the bins are stacked one above the other. Frame-supported movable members removably engage either the end walls or side walls, bottom and frame together as an integral unit. One of the side walls includes a pivotally supported upper horizontal section that may be moved to overlie a lower section of the side wall to permit access to the interior of a bin when the bin is in 'a stacked position. When the side walls and end walls are separated from the frame they may be stacked on the frame-supported bottom to minimize the space required to 4ship or store the dismantled bin.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Field of the invention A bin of such structure that the contents thereof are at all times visible, yet with the contents being removable even when one bin is stacked upon another. When not in use the bin may be dismantled, with the side walls and end walls thereof stacked upon a bottom-supporting frame to occupy a minimum of space.
Description of the prior art Although numerous types of storage bins have been devised and used in the past, in the main, they have suffered from the operational disadvantages of being of fixed structure, the contents thereof were not visible when the bins were in stacked arrangement, and no means was provided to permit articles to be removed therefrom when the bins were positioned one above the other. The bin structure of the present invention overcomes al1 of these operational disadvantages.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION A major object of the present invention is to provide a bin structure in which first and second side walls and end walls are removably mounted on a leg-supported frame in such a manner that the bin may be easily and quickly dismantled or assembled without the use of hand tools.
Another object of the invention is to provide a bin structure in which the contents thereof are at all times visible, yet access to the interior of a bin being possible, even when it is the lower-most in a stack of the bins.
Yet another object of the invention is to furnish a bin of simple mechanical structure which is adapted to be fabricated from standard commercially available materials, is strong and durable, and requires little or no maintenance attention.
Yet another object of the invention is to provide a bin structure, which when dismantled, occupies but a fraction of the space necessary when in the assembled condi- 3,478,914 Patented Nov. 18, 1969 ICC tion, whereby any number of bins may be shipped in the dismantled condition at a substantial saving.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of the bin structure when assembled;
FIGURE 2 is a fragmentary top plan view of the bin, taken on the line 2-2 of FIGURE l;
FIGURE 3 is a fragmentary horizontal cross-section of the bin, taken on the line 3-3 of FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 4 is a vertical cross-sectional view of the invention, taken on the line 4--4 of FIGURE 2;
FIGURE 5 is a fragmentary bottom plan view of the device; and
FIGURE 6 is a fragmentary vertical cross-sectional view of the bin, taken on the line 6-6 of FIGURE l.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT The bin A, as may best be seen in FIGURE l, includes a rectangular horizontal open frame B that is supported by four legs C located at the corners thereof. The frame B serves as a support for a flat bottom D. Four wells E are located on the upper portion of the frame above the legs C, with each well being in communication with a downwardly extending opening 10 formed in the frame.
First and second side walls F and G, respectively, are provided, and a pair of uprights 12 are provided at the ends thereof that may be removably positioned in two of the longitudinally aligned wells E. Two end walls H are also provided, each of which end walls has columns 14 at the ends thereof. When the end walls H are transversely positioned on the frame B, as shown in FIG- URES 1 and 4, portions 14a of the columns 14 depend through the openings 10.
Slidable bolts I, or other movable means, are mounted on the frame B, as shown in FIGURE 4, and may be manually moved to first positions where they engage transverse openings 16 formed in the portions 14a. Downturned L-shaped clips K are secured to the upper ends of columns 14, and interlock with the upper ends of the uprights 12 when the side walls F and G, and end walls H are mounted in a bin-defining position on frame B, as may be seen in FIGURES l and 4.
A lower horizontal section 18 of wire mesh, or other suitable sheet material, extends between the uprights 12 of the rst side wall F. An upper horizontal section 20 of wire mesh is movably afiixed to the upper portion of section 18 by connections L of the structure shown in FIGURE 6. Connections L permit upper section 20 to be moved vertically and pivoted relative to the lower section 18. When the upper section 20 is pivoted to a dependent position where it overlies section 18, an access opening is provided to permit articles to be removed from or placed in the bin A when the bin is in a stacked arrangement.
Downturned L-shaped clips 22 are secured to the -upper corner portions of section 20, which clips may removably engage the upper ends of the uprights 12 most adjacent thereto. When clips 22 are in engagement with the uprights 12 they serve to maintain the upper section 20 in an upright second position in the same vertical plane as that of section 18 as illustrated in FIGURES 1 and 4. The bins A may be stacked one upon the other, with the legs C of the bins, except those of the lowermost bin, resting on the upper ends of the uprights 12 and columns 14 most adjacent thereto.
In detail, the open frame A if preferably formed from angle iron that is so disposed that one flange 24 thereof is horizontal and the other flange 26 is vertical. Each leg C of frame A includes a web 28 that has a transverse flange 30 on the edges 4thereof as shown in FIGURE 4.
3 Each web 28, flange 30, and the bottom portion of the flange 26 to which the leg C is secured by welding, or the like, cooperatively form a conned space 32.
The bottom D may be of any rigid sheet material normally employed for such purpose. Bottom D is of such size that marginal portions 34 thereof overlie and rest on parts of the anges 26. Reinforcing members (not shown) extend longitudinally and transversely between oppositely disposed flanges 26 the bottom D which rests thereon is prevented. The wells E, as best seen in FIG- URES 3 and 4, are defined by L-shaped pieces .of metal 36 that are welded to the interior corners of the frame B, with the openings being situated within the interior 0f the wells.
In FIGURES 1, 2 and 6 it will be seen that panels 38 of wire mesh, or other sheet material, extend between the columns 14 of the end walls E, and are rigidly secured thereto. A wire mesh panel 38 also extends between the uprights 12 of second side wall G. The lower section 18 of first side wall F is also defined by a wire mesh panel 38 that is secured to the uprights thereof.
Section 20, which is preferably defined by a wire mesh panel 38, is not rigidly secured to the uprights 12 of the first side wall, but is pivotally and vertically movable relative to the lower section 18 due to the connection L. Each panel 38 is formed from a number of spaced horizontal wires or rods 40 that are bonded to a number of spaced vertical wires or rods 42, as shown in FIG- URES 1 and 6.
Connections L comprise I-shaped straps 44 of metal that are welded or otherwise secured in vertical positions relative to the two lowermost wires or rods 40 .of upper section 20, with the straps 44 extending around the uppermost wire or rod 40 of section 18. Because of the configuration of the J-shaped straps 44, the upper section 20 may be pivoted as well as moved vertically relative to the lower section 18 for reasons outlined herein. The -uprights 12 and columns 14 are both of tubular structure, and as a result the clips K and 22 may removably engage the upper open ends thereof.
Each of the slidable bolts I (FIGURE 4) is located in one of the conned spaces 32. Two longitudinally spaced sleeves 46 are secured to the under side of flange 26, and slidably support a rod 48 that is in longitudinal alignment with one of the openings 16 in a column portion 14a when the end wall H .of which the column portion is a part mounted on the frame B. Each end wall H includes a lower cross piece 50 from which column portions depend. Each cross piece 50 rests on the upper surface of one of the alianges 26 when the end wall H of which it forms a part is mounted on frame B, as shown in FIGURE 4. vEach of the rods 48 is provided with a handle 52 for ease in actuating the same.
In use, operation of the bin A is relatively simple. The bin A is assembled (FIGURE 1) by 4first placing first and second side walls F and G in vertical positions in frame B, and then positioning the end walls H in the frame. As the end walls H are placed in position, from which column portions depend. Each cross piece 50 rests on the upper surface of one of the anges 26 when the end wall H of which it forms a part is mounted on frame B, as shown in FIGURE 4. Each of the rods 48 is provided with a handle 52 for ease in actuating the same.
In use, operation of the bin A is relatively simple. The bin A is assembled (FIGURE l) by first placing rst and second side walls F and G in vertical positions in frame B, and then positioning the end walls H in the frame. As the end walls H are placed in position, the clips K (FIGURE 4) removably lock in the upper open ends of uprights 12. The slidable bolts I are then moved to the locking position to removably secure end walls H to the frame B.
Use Iof handle 52 permits rod 48 to be moved longitudinally in sleeves 46, as well as rotating it relative thereto. When the rod 48 is being removed from, or into the position shown in FIGURE 4, the handle 52 is disposed horizontally in order that it may pass over a Stop 54 that extends outwardly from web 28. After the rod 48 is in a desired position, the handle 52 is pivoted downwardly and inwardly towards web 28, and the stop 54 then prevents the rod 48 from moving inadvertently. Any inadvertent movement of the rod 48 causes handle 52, when in the position of FIGURE 4, to contact stop 54. Each leg C is preferably formed with an upwardly extending recess that engages the upper ends of a pair of uprights 12 and columns 14 when the bins A are stacked one above the other. When it is desired to dismantle one of the bins A for shipping or storing, the above described operation is simply reversed, with the first and second side walls F and G, and end walls H being stacked one above the other on the bottom D.
1. A storage bin for containing a plurality of articles,
(a) a generally rectangular frame including a plurality of wells at the corners thereof, each of which wells are in communcation with a vertically extending opening in said frame;
(b) first and second side walls, with each of side walls having vertical columns at the ends thereof, the lower ends of each of which columns may be removably disposed in one of said wells;
(c) two end walls, each of which have uprights at the ends thereof, with each of said uprights having a lower end portion that projects downwardly below one of said openings when said upright of which it is a part is disposed adjacent to one of said columns in one of said wells;
(d) engageable means on said lower portions of said uprights;
(e) manually operatable engaging means on said frame for removably engaging said engageable means to lock said end walls to said frame;
(f) first means on said end walls for interlocking with said columns for maintaining said first and second side walls in fixed positions on said frame when said engaging means locks said end walls to said frame; and
(g) a flat bottom supported by said frame, which first and second side walls and said end walls are capable of being separated from said frame when not in use and stacked one above the other on said bottom to minimize the space required in shipping or storing said bin.
2. A storage bin as defined in claim 1 wherein further includes:
(h) a plurality of legs that depend from the corners of said frame, which legs are so shaped as to removably engage the upper ends of said columns and uprights to permit said bins to be stacked one above the other.
3. A storage bin as defined in claim 1 wherein said first side wall includes:
(h) a lower horizontal section extending between said columns of said first side wall and is rigidly secured thereto;
(i) an upper horizontal section pivotally connected to the upper part of'said lower section; and
(j) second means on said upper section for removably engaging said columns of said iirst side wall to maintain said upper end lower sections in the same horizontal plane, with said second means when not in engagement with said columns permitting said upper section to pivot downwardly to overlie said lower section and permit access to the interior of said bin.
4. A storage bin as defined in claim 1 wherein said engageable means comprise transverse openings formed in said lower portions of said uprights and said engaging means comprise bolts slidably supported from said frame that are adapted to engage said openings.
5. A storage bin as defined in claim 1 wherein said columns are tubular and said -rst means comprise downturned L-shaped members secured to the upper ends of said uprights that can removably engage vthe upper ends of said tubular columns.
6. A storage bin as defined in claim 2 wherein at least one of said side walls or end walls is partially dened by wire mesh to permit the contents of said bin to be visible when said bins are in stacked positions.
7. A storage bin as defined in claim 3 wherein those portions of said upper and lower sections between said columns are formed from a wire mesh to permit said articles in said bin to be not only visible, but to permit said articles to be -removed therefrom even when said bins are in stacked positions when said upper section is pivot/ed downwardly to overlie said lower section.
8. A storage bin as defined in claim 3 wherein said upper section is pivotally and vertically movable relative to said lower section, with said columns being of tubular structure, and said second means are downturned L- shaped members that can removably engage the upper ends of said columns of said iirst side wall.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,497,453 2/1950 Hazen 220-4 2,598,800 6/1952 Koppel' 220-4 X 2,738,940 3/1956 Coit 220-6 X 2,826,329 3/ 1958 Beckner 220--84 X GEORGE E. LOWRANCE, Primary Examiner U.S. C1. X.R. 220-19, 84